Anger from Afghan families who have fled the Taliban to Britain as accommodation shortages force them to move from London to Yorkshire AGAIN
- A group of 40 families, including 150 children, must be resettled by Tuesday
- They live at the taxpayer’s expense in a four-star hotel in Kensington
Afghan refugee families fleeing the Taliban for a new life in the UK are being forced to move 200 miles from London to Yorkshire.
Due to a shortage of shelter, the group of 40 families, including 150 children, must be resettled in another part of the country on Tuesday.
They have been living on taxpayer expenses for over a year in a four-star hotel in Kensington, west London, and have been told to move to the less expensive three-star Mercure in Wetherby, near Leeds.
Yesterday some refugees, including an ex-Afghan general, protested against the plans outside Downing Street. The families were evacuated when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan because they cooperated with British authorities and also had army translators.
Their evacuation was a triumph for the Daily Mail’s Betrayal of the Brave campaign which has been fighting for refuge in the UK for translators who risked their lives to help the British army.
Due to a shortage of shelter, the group of 40 families, including 150 children, must be resettled in another part of the country on Tuesday
Yesterday some refugees, including an ex-Afghan general, protested against the plans outside Downing Street. (File image)
The Wetherby hotel has family rooms with en-suite bathrooms, fast Wi-Fi and tea and coffee making facilities.
But families are angry about the move, as it will disrupt their children’s education and means adults who have found work in London will have to look for a new job in Yorkshire.
A 21-year-old among the Westminster protesters said the news was devastating to his family as his 60-year-old father was due to undergo a liver transplant in London. The man, who works at Harvey Nichols and is one of eight members of the family, said: “We are devastated. It’s the middle of the school year, so when we move to Wetherby there won’t be room for my siblings at school.’
Another protester, aged 40, said the move would force him to quit his shop job and look for work again. He said: ‘My children are not happy with the decision because of their education, they have friends here, they have become used to the school that has been there for a year and a half.’
The Home Office reportedly told the families last September to find new accommodation. A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior said: ‘Although hotels do not provide a long-term solution, they do provide safe, secure and clean accommodation. We will continue to reduce the number of people in bridging hotels and move people to more sustainable accommodations as quickly as possible.
“Families may occasionally be transferred from a hotel that is about to close to another. In these cases, families are properly notified of a move and supported every step of the way by their local government.
The UK will welcome up to 20,000 people in need through the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme. We are proud that this country has provided homes for more than 7,500 Afghan evacuees, but there is a shortage of local housing for everyone.”
Since the launch of Operation Warm Welcome, hundreds of Afghans have moved from London to hotels across the country. One challenge is that Afghan families are often significantly larger than those in the UK, making it difficult to find suitable accommodation.
The average size of an Afghan family receiving refuge in the UK is around six people, while the average family size in Britain is three.